Kyrgyz, Tajik border guards exchange fire | Inquirer News

Kyrgyz, Tajik border guards exchange fire

/ 01:04 PM April 13, 2022

Kyrgyz, Tajik border guards exchange fire

A Kyrgyz special forces soldier guards the “Golovnoy” watershed, where the first clashes between Tajik and Kyrgyz border guards began near Tajik border, near the village of Kok-Tash, some 1,000 kilometres from Bishkek on May 5, 2021. AFP

BISHKEK — Kyrgyz and Tajik border guards exchanged fire on their disputed border on Tuesday, in a new incident that left one person injured from each of the Central Asian countries, the Kyrgyz side said.

Border communities in the two impoverished former Soviet states regularly clash over land and water supplies, with border guards often involved.


On Tuesday, shots were exchanged after Tajik border guards advanced on a disputed area, the Kyrgyz border guard service said in a statement.


Faced with the Tajiks’ refusal to stop their advance, Kyrgyz border guards “fired warning shots in the air”, the statement said.

“In response, Tajik border guards opened fire on Kyrgyz border guards.

“The shooting stopped after negotiations between representatives… of the two countries,” the statement said, adding that a Tajik border guard had been shot and wounded.

Later, another exchange of fire occurred in which a Kyrgyz border guard was “seriously” wounded, the same source said.

They said Tajik forces briefly fired mortars at the border village of Dostuk.

There was no immediate comment from Tajikistan, a closed and authoritarian country.


Kyrgyzstan’s border guards later said a deal had been reached with Tajikistan to withdraw the additional troops deployed during the hostilities, in a bid to defuse tensions.

“The two parties have started to withdraw their forces and equipment,” they said, adding that “the situation is relatively stable, but with some tension”.

Local authorities also announced the evacuation of five villages on the Kyrgyz side of the border.

Nearly half of the 970-kilometer (600-mile) border between the two countries is disputed and progress in demarcation has been slow in recent years.

An exchange of fire had already taken place last month, a sign of the volatility of the situation.

Last year saw an unprecedented number of clashes between the two sides, leaving more than 50 dead and raising fears of a wider conflict.


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TAGS: Central Asia, Conflict, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan

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